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Tuesday, June 24

McCain's captor speaks

John McCain's VC captor speaks to the BBC news.
Navy pilot John McCain was shot down during a bombing raid over the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, in 1967.

He ejected from his aircraft and parachuted into a city lake - only to be dragged out by an angry crowd, barely conscious, and with two broken arms and a broken leg.

From there he was taken to Hoa Lo prison, known to its American military inmates as the "Hanoi Hilton".

McCain has since described enduring months of solitary confinement and systematic torture which drove him to try to kill himself.
"I don't know how he'd react if he met me again," said Mr Duyet, flicking through old black and white photographs of himself and his American prisoners at Hoa Lo.

"But I can confirm to you that we never tortured him. We never tortured any prisoners."

Mr Duyet reminisces instead about how he often summoned the future US presidential candidate to his private office for informal chats.

"We used to argue about the war - about whether it was right or wrong," he says.

"He is a very frank man - very conservative, and very loyal to his country and the American ideal.

"He had a very interesting accent and sometimes he taught me words in English and corrected my accent. I have followed his career since he left prison."

So is Mr Duyet implying that that Senator McCain lied about his treatment at the Hanoi Hilton?

"He did not tell the truth," he says.

"But I can somehow sympathise with him. He lies to American voters in order to get their support for his presidential election." continued
At this point in time, it would be hard to prove who is lying. Since Mr Duyet keeps tabs on the US news, he would also know what would have been considered torture at that time in history probably isn't considered torture by bush administration standards. This could put John McCain in a very precarious situation, couldn't it? Maybe he was waterboarded in Vietnam, but by today's standards, he wasn't tortured. hmmmm. This could be a very juicy story, but certainly not in this country.

See also: Gore Vidal asks: "Who started this rumor that he was a war hero? Where does that come from, aside from himself? About his suffering in the prison war camp?"

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